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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Poetry 14/01/2014

Today's collection are completely random and were chosen using my children's birthdays. So no themes no little collection, just three poems thrown together upon a page.

May life always treat you kind.

The Poet.

When school returns
Silence pervades the house,
school returns and again I wander room to room,
listening to the ghosts of your smiles and laughter.
A mere seventy two hours separate us,
yet I feel myself floundering in your absence.
Heart tore open in your echoes, my mood slips,
once buoyant and happy, now smothered in loss.
A sense of quiet lies thick in the air,
in senseless thought I count the minutes

till smiles greet our reunion.

The Rose
On bended knee I offer this rose to thee,
filled with my love, my heart and all that I be.
I kneel before you in virginal white,
my rose upheld capturing light.
A light born of love, understanding and truth,
blessed by the gods for elderly to youth.
Will you accept my rose as a token of love?
To join our hearts from below and above,
giving life to a love born for two,
begun with a white rose from me to you.

I’M SORRY
Your head droops toward mother earth,
panic stricken, I tie your body to the cross with silken thread,
yet still you droop, your deep red fading while sunset burns.
Is this to be your funeral pyre?
The sun wild and afire, angry at my pitiful efforts,
in his caring hands I place you, for this shall be your longest night.
Dawn arrives in subdued silence,
has your wake begun?
My failure, a sharp pain to cut the morning sun,
final tears of beauty flow, dewdrops sliding down your paled petals,
unseen rainbows join the forgotten lifeforce pooled around you.
Another heartbeat lost as one by one your petals fall,
till all is silent and you are gone.
A darkened patch in a world of colour,
no other shall take your place,
the untilled earth a final resting place for my fallen rose.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Poetry 13/01/2014

Quite weary tonight after beginning the re-write process of some short stories I wrote many years ago for my children. Tonight's theme is a small collection that all have in some way a link to the realm of dreams.

Hope life treats you all that read this very well and even your smallest dreams become reality.

Stay safe always

The Poet

DREAMS
Forever in dreams the mind roams free,
emotions raw if the world could see.
Drifting blissfully we enter the sleeping realm,
our inner self takes the helm.
Steering us onto another plain,
life and dreams become the same.
Sub-conscious levels brought to light,
revealing hopes and wishes within a life.
Hidden messages lie upon the dream,
cherished hopes we seek to reveal.
My dreams, my hopes, I lay at your feet,
grant me now a peaceful sleep.
Be careful now, watch where you tread,

one step wrong my dreams are dead.

In dreams there is hope
Drifting from sight, your beauty a tangible vision,
carried along the mystical mists of time and place,
just out of reach, hiding in obscurity.
Charon waits, his flesh deprived hand
held expectantly for the price of passage.
Your feint lament of love teases my senses,
washing over me, carrying me onward in exquisite waves.
Spellbound by your beauty, I alight upon your prison.
Chain link amulets hold you rigid,
tied in the suppliant embrace of the wrath of the gods,
a goddess untainted in punishment, fragile yet strong.
My hand caresses you face, drawing you to my breast,
hiding the soft tears of solitude you endured
under the fickle pleasures of the gods.
I feel your mouth kissing enquiringly up my neck,
leaving hot trails of fire at your every touch.
Closing my eyes in ecstasy, I give myself to my goddess.
Suddenly, my hands grip empty air,
torn backwards, receding, slipping from your sight,
returning to the breathless tangled sheets of reality.
Squeezing my eyes shut, I feel my tears fighting for release
under the enforced caps of sleep over my eyes.
Memories of you carry a smile, a chance of hope,
solitude, just a word, quickly beaten when one becomes two.

First time I saw you was in a dream
Sunset slipped serenely into the waiting arms of night,
the sizzling heat of mid-summer,
lost in the frozen caverns of my heart.
Tired legs still striding purposefully toward my own solitude,
I stopped, transfixed, legs immobile, rooted to the spot.
A soft halo of light framed the timeless vision before me,
soft fluttering eyelashes accentuated the stark beauty of your eyes,
pools of seduction staring deep into my soul.
Angelic sighs ruffled the dark tresses of ebony,
framing the vision of the goddess elect.
Your whispered “hello”, slips seductively upon the breeze,
playing taunting, tantalizing games upon my ears.
Feathery rays of moonlight slip enchantingly around your heavenly body,
each shapely line bathed in shadow and light in liquid motion.
Gasping,
my eyes flutter open, your image of perfection slipping,
lost in the realms of dreams.
Head turning my smile returns,
gently sleeping by my side,
my goddess, my love, my lady.
A vision of perfection first seen in my dreams,

now beside me for all eternity.

The Dreamer
Drifting silhouettes of death,
ride on the coat tails of destruction,
hunting the living in tortured dreams of retribution.

Tearing through the veil of paranormal plains,
feint saliva trails of demonic tongues,
add to the rivulets of your sweat masked fear.

Tossing and turning, fighting your nightly straight jacket,
tied in a horizontal crucifix amid
the twisted sheets of the hangman’s noose.

Hands grasping at the morning,
your silent screams tear through the sunshine,
revealing the anguished cries of the dreamer.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Poetry 12/01/2014

Well today has been a mixed bag of weather, frosty this morning, occasional sunshine and then rain yet again tonight. The sunrise this morning was a sight to behold and made me think of a recent project that I done for my friend Paul Davison using his photos and my poetry and will share this tonight. During conversations with friends today it appears in my love poetry section yesterday I missed out two of my better love poems and will also include these in this this post.
Hope all your dreams are born in the realms of sleep and awaken in the dawn as reality.

Be safe all.

The Poet

SUNRISE
A somber dark night draws to a close,
mankind’s earthen stars add a surreal tint to the landscape,
streetlights striving to hold back the night.
Liquid shadows writhe and merge draping buildings,
unaware of dawns swift approach.
Suddenly, far off in the east,
the pale blue of the dawn perforates the sky,
each growing shaft of light awakens the land.
A dying night bemoans its wail of anguish,
its shadows torn to shreds on dawn’s luminous tide,
amid the dawn chorus to the death of night.
Steadily the world awakes with a smile and a yawn,
grateful to be alive to greet a new sunrise,
unaware of the epic battle being fought,

for the start of a new day. 


SUNSET
Crimson rays of surreal sunlight
bathe the land in bloody shades
of deepest reds and pinks,
adding a strange alien hue, akin to the red planet.

Once white billowing clouds clot the horizon,
stifling the bloody tints of the fading sun,
Mother Nature’s bandages,
striving and failing to quell the end of another day.

Accepting defeat,
revelling in its final blood red beauty,
the rapidly setting sun slips majestically
into the waiting arms of the horizon.

Burning deepest red in defiance,
the grateful day lays down its head.
Darkened shadows reveal the night,
rushing headlong, extinguishing all in its path.

The Smile
How the lily in your hair,
paled in colour with you there.
A smile you show for the world to see,
yet no smile remains for me.
But I am blessed in my heart
have known the truth from the start.
No more smile do you need to send
for our hearts entwined until the end.

THE WIND CALLS YOUR LOVE TO ME
Breath catching, the scent of your beauty
rides upon Autumn squalls and dances through my senses.
Seemingly alive, close to touch, yet,
remaining mere vapours coursing through my heart.
Each torrid draught carries a soft lament of your voice,
your dulcet tones whipped away amid the wild torrents.
Upon swirling zephyrs, each note slips beyond my grasp,
torn from reach, riding my pain in whispers.
Salient autumnal winds howl their laughter,
mocking the cry of a soul in anguish.
When calm returns the silence brings death,
no whispers ride the breeze,
my heart aches to hear the wind call your name,
revealing your love to me in a forest lullaby.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Poetry 11/01/2014

Hi folks
Not a lot of waffle tonight as I am shattered as today has just been one of them days that is emotionally exhausting and I sitting here falling asleep but as I promised some friends I would continue to post some of my poems so I will. So no views from my window or any poems inspired by just that but I still did choose a theme for the poems. Tonight's theme will be love.
Hope you all enjoy the few poems here and may life treat you kind and well.

Gnite

The Poet

Brief encounter
Neon lights bathed your face in rainbow shades,
travelling across the sensual contours of your body.
Licking your lips provocatively, you offer a smile,
desire rises in my chest,
breath catching, we begin the fleeting dance of lust.
Emerging from slumber,
nocturnal parasites of guilt plague my conscience,
re-emerging from the maelstrom of our passionate night.
Our time but a singular echo, soon forgotten,

lost in that fleeting moment when time stood still.

I loved you first
In blind breathless feelings, I felt love,
with you in my arms, I embraced love.
Looking into your eyes, I saw love,
with you by my side, in my thoughts, I became love.
Understanding came too slow,
the fragility of youth, a costly misdemeanor
haunting my life for eternity.
Memories alive under the visions of your beauty,
I soldiered on into life,
unaware that my jigsaw was broken.
A singular piece lost unable to be replaced.
alive but incomplete I remember,
I loved you first.

THE SMILE
How the lily in your hair,
paled in colour with you there.
A smile you show for the world to see,
yet no smile remains for me.
But I am blessed in my heart
have known the truth from the start.
No more smile do you need to send
for our hearts entwined until the end.

Sculpted from breathless whispers
Throat constricting in blind panic,
my senses reel under the delicious scent of your sexuality.
Heart skipping I dare to breathe,
immersing myself in the aromatic essence of your smile.
Drifting on the breeze,
I sense your name seeping into my mind,
carrying breathless whispers of love
along the bank of torrid dreams,
awakening desires that have long laid dormant.
A goddess before me,
Perfection realised in each animated curve of your sensual body,
alive, vibrant, provocative, beauty alive under blood red lips.
Sculpted from breathless syllables of angel song,
desire awakens under the onslaught of love.


Friday, 10 January 2014

Poetry 10/01/2014

Well today began at 6 am and I must say it was pitch outside my window almost as if the darkness was seeking entrance, so much for the wisdom of the government and their half power street lighting. Well the dark does set my mind into overdrive and a return to my dark poetry roots and onward to a realm where all manner of things wait outside my window.
Suffice to say the collection of poems here on this day will indeed be dark and edgy which was how I preferred to write back in the early days. Please remember to stay safe and well if you are out and about in the darkness as I often am: a shadow among shadows seeking the safety of the dawn.
Take care folks and may the dreams of night reveal answers in the beauty of sunrise guiding you to realise your dreams.

The Poet

Dark thoughts
Darkened dreams in shades of pitch,
burst forth into the reality of night.
Eclipsing light in sable thoughts of murderous revenge,
shadows lengthen seeking life in ebony shrouds of death.

Kiss of the vampire
His teeth nibbling at her neck, she felt the first nick,
sinking deeper into his arms she feels the release of his poison.
Eyes snapping open she feels her consciousness slipping,
the poison pulsing through her veins in tune with her heartbeat.
Head falling forward onto her chest she tries to fight the lethargy,
unique tiredness in each and every sinew,
her final thought, the absent-minded motion of hand to neck.

In tortured dreams she sees them descend in unison,
mouths hanging hungrily open, ready for the blood red feast before them.
Clarity remains clouded as she stirs from her imposed slumber,
the abused wounds on her neck swollen and angry, a feint pulse in her tired mind.
 His lips no longer move but she hears every word,
“Come my Twilight Princess, come and meet thy sisters.”
Mind recoiling from his hungry intrusion, she feels her humanity beginning to slip,
losing itself in the downward spiral of madness.

One final effort is all she begs,
his sickly sweet voice tries to cajole her back to his embrace.
Steeling her mind she rips the door from its hinges and steps out,
laughing hysterically at their recoil from the sun.
She feels the searing pain and embraces it,
welcoming the renewed clarity it brings
and the final smile of freedom on her ashen face.

Lord of Twilight
Shadows lengthen announcing my presence.
Drifting across the sky, floral explosions erupt under my hand,
a late extravaganza of colour for my daily coronation.
The sun seeks the west,
Its fiery corona my crown to wear for a brief time,
but I feel the powers of darkness creeping,
skirting the horizons, hunting the crown.
Death of day, birth of night, I have presided over them all,
a god among gods, holding the power of the solar system in my hands.
Neither born of night, nor of day,
I keep my own council in my fleeting time,
the true master of day and night, the Lord of Twilight.

Nefarious ambition
I feel you there, a shadow among shadows,
watching my work with fevered pride.
Your twisted whispers bounce across my psyche,
cajoling me forward, guiding my hand,
bathing me in the contorted lyrical screams of the dead.
Blood red on a black canvas, a masterpiece for a true artisan to savour,
knife sculpting death at every turn,
I offer a macabre beacon for your followers.
Copper scents taint the air, another soul has fallen,
carried on ashen winds into the waiting arms of death.
Disappearing into the night, knife aching by my side,
I seek your next prize.
Clarity clouded in your quest for kingship,
understanding plays a muted concerto in my mind,
I am but a mere pawn, a sacrificial piece
in your degenerated game of nefarious ambition.

Nyctophobia
You fall in silence,
Eclipsing light in dark oppression,
carrying me to destruction.

Vision blurring,
panic rises, washing hope from thought,
catching fearful breaths in muted screams.

In strangled whispers,
reality seeks and audience.
Voice imprisoned in abject fear,
reality falls on the broken sword of day

Raven’s Song
He sends his flock, his carrion crew,
seeking names, just a few.
Ebony shadows cross the veil,
death to life, a siren’s wail.
Across the void in winged flight,
raucous calls shatter the night.
I see you there upon your perch,
a deadly reminder of metal and birch.
The scythe swings completing the arc,
biting deep it found its mark.
A raven’s song with death in tow,
darkness falls it’s time to go.
Ravens came eclipsing the night,
just one mistake they took the wife.

Phantasm
Oh smoky apparition,
why do you torment me so?
Black on black you scurry beyond the naked eye,
holding your own council in silent whispers.
What anchors you on this plain?
What message do you hold?
Answers I fear are as vague as the smoky wisp that is you.

One night
Dusk starts to settle,
colours shimmer in their own vibrancy,
edges reach stark reality for the briefest moment,
their time quickly lost in the land of shadows.
Lengthening in grotesque beauty,
they eat away at the failing light of day,
preparing a path for nights descent into tranquillity.
Velvet darkness seeps into the horizon,
flowing serenely, unseen and draped in mystery
her ebony gown slips across the light parched land.
Relishing in her new freedom, she understands,
playtime for the deranged is now,
a nightly shroud of intimacy for their work.
Battle lines drawn, night awaits the onrushing dawn,
forever waging a losing battle,
dawn arrives majestically victorious in all her luminescent glory,
her sister withers, paling to grey, dying in a bloody swathe.

Walking the Night
Listen closely do you hear,
whispers on a breeze, hanging near.
Unshackled spirit walking the night,
room to room, lost in light.

Twilight corners in eerie dark,
airy footprints, not a mark.
Liquid image laid upon the air, or
moans and groans on a weary stair.

Creeping closer you’re seeking us out,
passing your messages in a silent shout.
Whispered shuffles mark your retreat,
fading from existence , till just leaves on a street.


Thursday, 9 January 2014

Something I have been working on 09/01/2014

Hi again Bloggerland.
I know I have been missing for a few days and I wont bore you with the reasons but will just say took some sternish words and a character as stubborn as mine to get me to start posting again.
(You know who you are)
Once again I find myself wondering poetry or short story. So for today I would like to share something I have been working on before I return to my given gift for poetry in time for tomorrow's post. All views as always would be gratefully appreciated as this style of serial writing is a little new to me and would be very interested if it works as a serial and if it engages the reader enough.
Stay safe everyone who reads this and may life be as bright as the stars and may one fall and bring life to your dreams.

Best Always

The Poet

The Katarina Chronicles
Part 1
Darkenfield

A new school beckoned, to say I was nervous would be the understatement of the year. Sure, I had been to other schools but never quite fitted in. With a hint of trepidation I looked at the clock, watching the hands tick down the time, only thirty five minutes to go to sunset. Now I know waiting for sunset may seem a little odd, so I think I had better explain.
For most of my school life I had been home tutored by my mother but for reasons never explained to me I was to attend Darkenfield College for two years.
Darkenfield College was in effect a school held at night for people of a certain persuasion, to put a finer point on it ‘vampires’.
I can guess where your thoughts may be going, creatures of the night, never growing old, allergic to sunlight, free to do what we like and all that twaddle. If only all that were true, life would be easier, although the allergic to sunlight part holds true. Life for a vampire is a little more complex than that and yes we still have to attend school at some point, especially if you are known to one of the six ruling houses.
Mum never explained how she became a vampire nor was I inclined to ask, our relationship was such, that she had her life which I never questioned and I in effect had mine. One rule however, was never to be broken, ‘never leave during the day’. I have for ten plus years hidden one fact from my mum I am different, I am able to leave during the day although I don’t use this gift very often I must confess that sometimes it feels good to sit on a hill and watch the sunrise, feeling the first morning rays bathe my skin a rare luxury that I have only indulged a few times and the not going up in flames is an added bonus.
Finally, my wait was over, waving goodbye to my mum I shrugged into my long, black, leather coat, picked up my skateboard and left the small house we rented from the ruling house in the district, the House of Cerberus.
Darkenfield College lay about half a mile north of home and with a flourish of my trailing leg I was off, the steadily growing wind snaking my black hair behind me. Nobody out and about in this small hamlet even raised an eyebrow at my passing. The birth of the Gothic dress code had unbeknownst to the rest of the world granted all vampires a dress code, and a chance to blend in with the subservient minorities of the day. Turning a sharp left hand corner I screech my skateboard to a halt, there before me lies Darkenfield College, complete with gargoyles and entwined serpents, each one seemingly watching my approach in stony silence. An involuntary shudder ripples through me, its icy fingers caressing my spine. With a sense of foreboding I look to the main doors where a group of students stand smoking and laughing.
Thigh length black boots crunching upon the white gravel lining the driveway I head toward the main doors. On hearing my approach the group become silent and all eyes turn my way. So here it was, the first test, stopping dead in my tracks I begin sizing each one of them, returning their stares with indifference. My eyes linger on the centre of the bunch, a smug grin beginning to crease her features; predator and prey.
Taking in the obvious quality cut of her clothes; travelling head to toe my eyes seek a weakness. In every ounce of her being I see the softness of easy living. If this is to go down she will be my target. I take another bold step forward; the pack close ranks around lady easy living, their body language betray that they are ready to pounce. So I stop, each muscle in my body steeled for the onslaught that is coming. Lady easy living raises her hand, eyes locked we smile at one another and then her hand begins its descent. I step forward to meet the onslaught, only sure of one thing, I will go down fighting. From the corner of my eye a dark blur emerges; the pack freezes, unsure of itself. Lady easy living, hand frozen in mid-air hesitates for the briefest moment. Taking full advantage of their indecision my mysterious saviour grabs my arm and drags me forward, dumbfounded I follow. Recovering the pack tries to close its ranks around lady easy living, but it’s too late, my saviour is already between them dragging me forward into the well-lit hall of Darkenfield College. Glancing behind, my eyes once again lock with lady easy living, her face contorted with hatred. Still being led forward at a brisk pace by my saviour, I reflect this is one hell of a way to start my first day at school. Taking in my saviours broad shoulders encased in his long flowing black coat, I realise that he is still gripping my arm and leading me forward. No introductions, no explanations, feeling the anger rise in my chest I brake to a sudden stop, spinning my saviour round to face me. The questions I had, now forgotten, as I stare into the clearest blue eyes I have ever seen. Standing open- mouthed it takes me a moment to register the feint mocking smile playing upon his full blooded lips. Now the anger returns, snatching my arm from his I demand to know what is so goddamn funny, his smile slipping at my furious outburst, holding his hands in mock surrender my saviour offers to take me to the library and explain. Frozen in his returning smile I hesitate unsure of what to believe. His coat swirling like raven wings my saviour turns and heads off at a brisk pace.
Yet again watching his broad shoulders tightly encased in leather, I realise this may be the one chance to make a friend. Quickening my pace I catch my saviour and offer a feint, hesitant, smile of my own.
Finding seats in one of the alcoves my saviour begins his explanation. Born in Galway in 1912, after his mother was bitten by a vampire, Caleb was raised along with his older sister Trinity, and had known a good life until his mother’s death from blood poisoning five years earlier. Caleb believed his mother’s death was no accident and with his sister Trinity in tow he had set off for England. A thirst for vengeance driving him to these distant shores and his hunt for a vampire named Talarus. Sitting and brooding in silence, Caleb stares off into the distance his narrative at least done for the moment. Taking a chance on this lull in conversation I quickly dispatch with the pleasantries before asking some questions of my own, the primary one being, who the students we had seen at the doors were? Caleb’s whole attitude suddenly changes, his body going rigid I look around bewildered, my eyes finally coming to rest on the open library door.
The five students we had previously met filed in lady easy living in the lead. Caleb leaning back in his chair pointed a finger and named each one in turn, finishing with lady easy living herself; Kristen Michaels, Talin Fitzgerald, Lucius Marconi, Salome Collins and Tanya Raynes.
Chairs scraping back Caleb and I wind our way around the tables to face the five. Why I was standing here was beyond me but it felt right. One thing was certain, something was about to go down. Sensing something wrong behind me I spin round, hands raised and knuckles clenched, the leather of my gloves stretched taught over my skin. Eight vampires had crept in the bottom door at the pre-ordained orders of Tanya no doubt. Glancing back I see the five leaving with a cheery wave of goodbye. Side by side we stand; eight big burly meatheads advancing slowly and menacingly toward us. With a sudden burst of speed Caleb is on the move leaping high into the air feet thrust out in front, he lands feet first into the throat of the leading meathead. Rolling on landing he ducks a punch from another and grabs the meathead’s arm; twists, and with a deft snap the bone breaks. Arm hanging uselessly by his side the meathead again ventures forward but Caleb is already spinning, his foot swinging in a graceful arc before crunching with sickening force into the meathead’s face, eyes glazing before he even meets the ground. Slipping by Caleb a meathead leaps forward, arms outstretched reaching for my throat, and instinctively I drop. Flying above me the meathead tries to halt his flight but it’s way too late. Tightening my fist, I punch upwards with all my strength, smashing my fist into scrotum before jarring my whole shoulder against his pelvic arch. Eyes’ glazing from the pain my adversary crumples to the floor, a limp rag doll slithering toward the wall. Swinging my legs but staying low to the floor I snake out a foot, ripping out the legs from underneath the nearest meathead. With cat like grace I am on him, raining blow after blow until all fight has left and he is at last glaze- eyed. Flipping myself back to my feet I see Caleb has trounced another meathead with a sound roundhouse kick to the head. Now standing side by side, muscles tensed for action, Caleb and I take a step forward; this is enough for the remaining meatheads. Turning sharply, tails tucked firmly between their legs, they sprint through the door from where they had come. Before any relief could be felt, sounds of applause come from behind us. Turning sharply fists ready I see that the five have returned and it is Tanya who is applauding, “Bravo, Bravo”. His whole body rigid with suppressed anger Caleb strides forward, only stopping when he is face to face with Tanya. Looking as if she would like to blend into the wall Tanya holds her hands up, palms upward in mock placidity. Under a smug smile Tanya begs for a chance to explain. Body still rigid with his undisguised anger Caleb folds his arms across his broad torso, at least granting Tanya an audience for now.
“My dear Caleb, the thugs were only a test, I had to see if you and your new ‘lady’ friend (the word ‘lady’ spat out like a bullet) had what it took to attend the SUNQUEST tournament and it gives me great pleasure to say you both did.”
With a final glare at me and a blown kiss for Caleb, Tanya turns to leave. Fury burning through my veins I stride forward and grab Tanya by the shoulder. Spinning her around to face me, I let my fury loose,
“Your turn to listen you bitch, I don’t know what your problem is and I don’t fucking care, you can shove this Sunquest where the sun don’t shine, I want no part of it.”
In that moment one thing became very apparent; Tanya was not use to being man-handled by anyone, stepping in close to prevent her striking out at me I stood my ground. Under such fury I got to admit it wasn't easy to stand there with all the murderous looks around me but I guess I am just a stubborn cuss pure and simple. Relaxing under my gaze, Tanya begins laughing, yet the fury was not lost in her voice,
“Now your turn to listen you goddamn little tart, Sunquest is compulsory to who I say it is and believe me that includes you.”
As she was speaking Tanya kept jabbing her finger into my chest, as the last word was spat out I grabbed. Bending the offensive finger backwards I could feel the bone grating at the knuckle and was just ready for the final twist when Caleb stepped across us breaking the contact. Just as I was about to let fly at Caleb he merely nodded behind and I saw that the other four members of Tanya’s troupe and some of the spectators were ready to pounce. Stepping backwards; I steeled myself again for the onslaught that I felt was coming. Without a word Tanya merely turned and left the library closely followed by her troupe. Now I can’t decide which is scarier the fact that she just left or the fact I wasn’t ripped to shreds but either way it was a plus in my corner.
With a deep sigh I took to my seat again with Caleb sat opposite me and looked deep into my eyes, and began to apologise for the trouble he had brought but holding a hand up I simply offered my thanks. As we talked of this and that the conversation gradually turned to the forthcoming Sunquest. Standing lithely up, Caleb asks me to follow him. Falling into stride beside him, I felt pretty good even if my first forty minutes at school had been spent in hell.
Leaving Darkenfield Caleb led me to an area beside the sports field to a plain white wall. As we drew closer I noticed that something dark stretched across the wall like a long smudge. To my horror a row of eight manacles came into view. Looking beseechingly at Caleb I hunt an explanation.
 “Your first thoughts are right Kat, we are fastened here at three am, dawn is five-thirty am, so we get two hours and thirty minutes to answer three riddles, answer correctly, you’re released, don’t answer, you fry. This is barbaric was my immediate thought, then the realisation hit, I had no way out and my secret as a Daywalker would soon be revealed. This had been one hell of a day and classes hadn't even started yet. Turning away from the wall I followed Caleb Back to Darkenfield and my first lessons. I did get one relief; there were no more instances with Tanya’s pack so the rest of the night flittered by until we were finally released.
After all that happened I traipsed home in the early hours tired but happy, I had least made one friend in Caleb. For the first time in what seemed an eternity I actually felt good. Yeah! Ok! There was the whole Tanya and her pack situation but hey no-one ever said school was easy and at least I had one friend. Unlocking the front door, mum stood expectantly, hands on hips; obviously she wanted the full oration of my first night at Darkenfield. Taking a deep breath I begin my lies. Don’t worry you heard me right, lies.  I knew I couldn't tell mum the truth about Tanya and her pack because as usual it would be my fault,

So there I stood, a cute smile of sincerity etched upon my face telling my lies of the nights events and how cool Darkenfield was. Faking tiredness I took my leave from my mum’s beaming smile and headed for my room. Laid on my bed, images of Darkenfield swim into view, smiles tinged with apprehension and exhilaration were the order of the day. Sleep felt far from my mind but I knew the answer to this particular problem. Listening silently I waited for the one sound I needed and there it was the gentle snick of mum’s door closing. Ten more minutes and then it would be time. Silently opening my window I drank deeply of the morning air. Sunrise was moments away and from somewhere deep inside I knew I just had to feel the sun on my face today. Now don’t expect me to explain it because I can’t. Without any preamble the first rays of sun crept over the eastern horizon and bathed me in its golden light. I had long since forgotten the beauty of sunrise and how it always made me feel good. Soaking up more of the sun’s rays I slowly began to feel sleepy, I knew it was time to stop but boy it felt so damn good, just like a drug but alas the human world would be waking soon. Brushing myself down, I head back toward my window. Stopping dead in my tracks I stare hard at the reflection next to my own albeit a more distant one. Spinning round (too fast I may add) I slip and am soon falling headlong off the porch roof. No scream shredded the morning because to wake mum wasn't going to happen. So my final thought as I at least turn myself around a little was this was gonna hurt, a lot. Closing my eyes to my fate, I waited for my bone jarring date with our driveway. No thud, no pain, nothing, snapping open my eyes I looked straight into the smiling eyes of Caleb. How? This question burnt its way to the forefront of my mind as the sun beat heavily upon our bodies. Only one answer made sense, I was not the only daywalker in Darkenfield.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Poetry 05/01/2014 (Short Stories for a change)

For today's collection I decided to move away from the poetry for one day to post a couple of short stories. Both of these were originally poems and I have included the poems at the start of each piece of work. Hope you enjoy my efforts.

Steve

 Memoirs of a Serial Killer
The blood flow was numbed, the knife still embedded
my inner devil sniggered waiting for the gush.
The sharpened edge slipped free with only cursory retaliation,
and euphoria was upon me.
Each scalding drop an instant high,
a narcotic hit of epic proportions.
Yet sadness remains for I know she is not the one,
not the goddess I seek, not the one I began my quest for.
But I am patient, perfecting my art each day.
So many days have come and gone,
so many nights watching from the shadows.
When the sun sinks into its own pool of blood
I return to the beginning.
A wraith hidden in the night,
bathed in the blood of your doppelgangers, I
watch and wait till the time is right.
Waiting for the whispers to end and
the euphoric feelings I seek to become mine.
Silence lies upon me, the devil understands
the time is now; you are to become mine at last.
I have pictured this in countless dreams.
The raw feeling and scent of your fear, my elixir to life;
your salted tears my ambrosia.
I watch your pale silhouette transforming,
each layer falls until you bask in your naked glory.
Drifting through the shadows I begin the hunt,
on silent feet I reach my goal.
With a small smile I turn the handle
my smile spreading, my feverish eyes can’t hide their mirth.
Silly! Silly! Girl!
I must remember to thank you for the open invitation.
Silently the door eases closed behind me.

   Feeling the serrated edge slip free from her body, I wait. My eyes transfixed on hers, I watch for that moment of clarity and understanding, the singular moment in time that she clings to hope. Drawing my face back, I raise my blood drenched hand in front of her eyes. Understanding is quick, hope is lost and she begins to accept her fate. Nose to nose, eye to eye, she does not see or seem to care as my knife nicks the skin at the side of her neck. Slowly the light in her eyes is fading; time is short but still enough remains for a brief pain filled spark to widen her eyes. Drawing my blade around the sensuous arc of her throat, I wait suspended in time for the narcotic hit of the most potent man made drug, murder. Hot blood spatters across my face as the final spark of her life ebbs and dies in the red life-force running from her throat. Stepping back I allow her to find her allotted space among the filth and decay of her trade.
     Before turning my back I spare a final look of disdain at the doppelganger before me. Short black bobbed hair, long shapely legs, slim waist, basically a damn sexy figure of a woman. It could be her, deep ruby lips below shallow green eyes; but it isn't her. The brief charade finally losing its appeal, I grab the black hair and stuff it in my pocket. Sniffing in disgust at the blond slumped on the filthy floor I turn on my heel and walk into the night. Keeping to the shadows had become necessary after the first kill. Finally negotiating lightless alleys and parking lots I reach my car and begin my second ritual of the night. Taking a bag of sanitary wipes, I begin erasing all signs and smells of the whore I had just dispatched into death. Placing each stained wipe in a rapidly growing pile I check for any missed spots in the rear-view mirror. Once clean I wriggle out of my blood spattered clothing and grab my suit, shirt and tie from their dry cleaning cover. Snapping my tie into place I begin searching my glove compartment for my warrant card and photo identification. Placing them in my inside pocket I turn the key and wait for the engine to splutter into life before beginning the fifteen mile journey to the police substation in Whitehall and my first night working under the bitch that had replaced me.
     Until two days ago I had been lead detective heading the taskforce investigating the recent prostitute murders in and around Whitehall. Detective Inspector Alison Sheffield aka the bitch was one of the Mets new high fliers and was firmly on the Deputy Commissioners’ radar. Receiving the Commissioners’ complete backing allowed her to pick and choose her cases and this invariably meant mine. The ‘Whitehall Slashings’ would be the third case in as many months to have fallen from me to her lap and I knew why. Our break up had not been quiet or pleasant and after three years of marriage and one affair it was over. After passing the detective exam she was immediately fast tracked by her lover and left everything we had dead in her wake. By the time the divorce lawyers had finished divvying up our assets, I was left with our second car, sizable debts and a drinking problem. The only thing that had appeared to be mine was my career as a police detective and it now appeared that even that was up for grabs.
     Pulling my car into one of the furthest parking bays from the entrance, I began the walk toward the entrance just as the heavens opened. Turning the collar of my jacket up I quicken my pace and head into the building. Out of the corner of my eyes I see her car parked under the only light still working in the parking lot; electric blue Tigra, once my pride and joy now hers like everything else. The fact that the bitch is already here is a surprise; on all the other cases she had stolen from me everyone had began with the grandiose entrance of Alison flanked by her two clones. Alison Sheffield, Jessica Carlisle and Kat Taylorford, all three black haired and looking enough like each other to passed off as sisters but all power hungry grade A bitches. Sauntering toward a seat near the back of the conference room that had been turned over for the taskforce, I quickly grab a coffee and wait for the usual image conscious dance of lies with my ex-wife. Sickly sweet smile, sensuous walk, I already knew she was not beyond using all the tools in her sexual arsenal to get what she wanted. However, the lies always showed in the hardness of her eyes. The emerald shards of pale green would probably betray her if a man knew where to look.
“You’re looking well Tom,” Alison said. However, her eyes told a very different story sparklingly alive in their deceit. I was under no illusions by this loose comment, for some strange reasons I have yet to figure out suits just always hang like a sack. Taking Alison’s barbed comment as a compliment, it is clear that the mini Atlas physique I have groomed for the last six months appears to be well and truly hidden. Coupled with the loose hanging suit, my unshaven face could only add to the generally unkempt look that I often wore. Toe to toe, we made a very odd couple as I was always in contrast with the finely tuned Amazonian now standing before me. Standing at a curvaceous six feet two inches when naked, Alison had long shapely legs and her black skirt stopped just above the knee showing off her finely moulded calves. Moving smoothly up toward her waist Alison’s skirt clung to her hips like a second skin. Tucked tightly into the waistband of her skirt, Alison’s virginal white blouse tapered from waist to breast, accentuating the material stretched across her ample breasts and was completed by her customary three buttons undone to reveal a hint of bra or breast. There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that Alison cuts a fine figure of the female sexuality but her choice of clothing leaves just enough to the imagination enabling her to coax anything  out of anyone. Before reaching her face my roving gaze centres on her breasts and thrills at the widening red stain engulfing each breast.
“TOM! Where are we with the case,” Alison almost screaming my name forces me to snap my head back into reality and look upward toward her fine elfin face. Offering a sheepish smile I begin the report that had been passed up the line from the uniforms that had been first on scene. What the hell did she expect from me, I had only been in charge less than twenty four hours, so I basically knew the same small nugget of answers that had been gleamed from each crime scene. No DNA, no sexual assault, just four prostitutes found in abandoned warehouses stabbed, and throat slashed. Footprints found at the scene offer no distinguishing features to assist in the search for the killer. I barely suppress a smile at Alison’s body tightening with the distinct lack of evidence. Deciding to add further pain to her rapidly degenerating day, I stand and whisper in her ear. “Maybe you should of waited another forty eight hours before stepping on MY toes,”.  Smirking I feel Alison’s body tightening beside me; turning on her heel she breaks the contact between us and heads back to her waiting clones. Finishing my coffee I head to the front of the conference room ready to steer most ideas down blind alleys and further away from the truth. Jack Saunders a three month, we behind the ears Detective Sergeant had the notion that the murders were linked in some way but nobody paid much attention to his musings. Saunders was partially right there was a link between the victims but it was not one that could be checked in death. It was none of the usual markers employed by serial killers. When I killed I had often seen the same hooker a few times but I was not continually drawn to her because she was good in the sack, a blonde or brunette or had a great figure. It was all to do with her gait; that perfect combination between walking and sexuality, these girls would don the wig and die; stabbed and throat slashed.
     Watching Alison’s gait, as she quickly moves from desk to desk seeking any answers and setting tasks to find those answers, I glimpse clone number one Jessica Carlisle staring intently  as she begins walking toward  me. Glancing downward at her feet I let my eyes slowly wander up her shapely calves in admiration, eyes rising I take in her leather encased hips before rising beyond her slim waist toward her white encased breasts. Lingering briefly on her breasts my gaze continues its journey finally taking in her blood red lips and pale grey eyes. Daring a smile Carlisle stares directly into my own eyes before nervously looking away. Striding past me, I turn, watching her exquisite gait slide away from me as she heads for the door. In what was rapidly become a poor, poor day for Alison was about to get  a hell of a lot worse for the Police forces rising star, victim number five would soon make an appearance and this one would be a lot closer to home for the bitch. Following Carlisle from the room into an adjoining office I enter to find Carlisle bent over looking into the bottom draw of a filing cabinet. Skirt hitched up revealing just a subtle hint of suspender; she again offers the same hesitant smile. Perching on the corner of a nearby desk I watch her closely, admiring each of her curves in turn. Offering a smile of my own, Carlisle straightens and begins smoothing her skirt back down her legs. “Would you like to get a drink .....sometime?” Carlisle whispers, as she begins crossing the distance between us. I didn't fail to catch the lingering open invitation as she purred her question; standing between my open legs, Carlisle stares into my eyes, gone is the hesitant girl from earlier, now I face a predator. Always a man ready for a challenge, I readily agree and watch with bated breath at her finely manicured nails quickly scribbling down her address and phone number. Watching her almost flee the office, I pause in thought at the chance presented to me, finally shrugging my shoulders I head back to the conference room. For the next five hours we danced around ideas, discarding each one in turn until finally all strung out we called it a night. Walking last from the station I was surprised to see Carlisle waiting for me. Grabbing me in the shadows her lips hungrily searched for mine, her right hand groped restlessly around my groin, caressing me and feeling me harden under her touch. My hands reach for her breasts but she is already stepping away, the fingers of her left hand lingering upon my face. Pulling her jacket closed, covering her heaving chest she asks me to come over in a couple of hours. Watching her turn away, my eyes drift to her exquisite gait till she reaches her car and drives off. My head full of the night ahead I barely glimpse the Tigra hanging a left on the other side of the traffic lights. Part of me wanted to follow Alison to see where she would be spending the night but the other half of me decided to go for a few drinks at The Angel pub as a celebration of my infiltration into the unholy trio of bitches.
     Entering the pub I was surprised to see Saunders sitting in a corner nursing a pint. Pulling up a seat beside him we exchange pleasantries while we wait for the next round to be brought by the barmaid. Sparking a cigarette to life I wait for the usual barrage of problems on the Saunders family home front. True to form, Saunders began with the usual belief that Charlotte, his wife, was having an affair due to the job. After five minutes of Saunders’ hell I slowly began to tune him out, offering only a cursory nod of affirmation or the occasional yes or no, instead I allowed my mind to wander to Carlisle. The urge to feel her blood stain my hands; to see the final spark of life fading from her eyes was becoming unbearable by the minute. Swiftly finishing my drink I shrug into my jacket, offering Saunders the usual reassurances that everything will work out, I head to my car. I sit for a moment, re-running last night’s kill, looking for any improvements that I could make when I went to meet Carlisle. Rough sex or even rape were certainly possibilities, a ski mask or something similar would also add that hint of tension, not that any of them mattered because come the morning, Jessica Carlisle would be victim number five of ‘The Whitehall Slasher’.
Putting the car in gear, I begin the drive to Carlisle’s house almost salivating with the memory of her hungry embrace earlier. Parking opposite her house, I switch off the engine and remain sitting in darkness watching her house. My eyes are drawn to the net covered bedroom window; this was to be the kill zone. My heartbeat raises a beat or two when her light flickers on and her silhouette begins disrobing in front of the window. Frozen still and holding my breath I watch as her blouse comes off and is discarded on the floor before her breasts are released from the confines of her bra. As she begins undoing the buttons on her skirt, I climb from my car and softly shut the door. Heading swiftly and quietly to her door, I pull down the handle and am greeted by a soft snick as the latch disengages. Silly, silly girl, I make a mental note to remember to thank her for the invitation. With the same soft snick I close the door and then engage the lock before heading upstairs toward the small sliver of light showing from under her door.
     Staying to the side of each step I slowly make my way upstairs, drawing my knife from the scabbard under my jacket as I reach her door. Turning the knob I begin inching the door open before rushing headlong in hope of catching her of guard. Skidding to a halt and feeling the blood drain from my face I look into the yawning muzzle of a gun. At first all I see is the gun and it takes a few seconds for anything else to register. The gun by its markings was a Police issue Glock but more to the point, was the fact that Alison was holding it. Glimpsing the half naked Carlisle behind the ex wife, two swiftly adds up to four. Eyes drawn back to Alison, I tense at her finger tightening on the trigger, surging forward knife held out before me I began my final act. Gun tracing my movements it belches flame once, the bullet rips a sizable chunk of flesh from the top of my thigh. Leg snapped backward with the force, I begin a face first descent toward the floor like a broken marionette. Twisting, I manage to take the impact of the floor on my shoulders but the knife bounces from my grip before my head smashes onto the unforgiving   stained wood. My eyesight swimming from the impact, I still glance backward in time to see Alison striding forward, cuffs in hand and gun still trained on me. Feeling the onrush of darkness that rides along with unconsciousness I strain for one final glance of Alison’s gait. Snapping back to reality with the alcohol being liberally poured over my wound I grimace at Carlisle’s rough tying of a tourniquet. Feeling the cuffs snap shut on wrist, around radiator and back onto wrist, I long for the previous darkness to engulf me. Head snapping sideways from the ring weighted punch Alison delivers, I spit a globule of blood on the floor, struggling to a sitting position, I brace my back for another onslaught. Gripping the gun by its muzzle, Alison clips the side of my head and once again the darkness is rushing upon me under full sails. Seemingly from a distance I hear Alison’s voice, “You should never have used the wig Tom, after talking to all the hookers you used, you became known as, ‘The Wig Man’.  Once it was described to me, you became the prime suspect; I even found your little mile marker game with the wipes.” Lifting my head I look at my ex complete with the same smug look of victory I had seen before. Turning toward her clone she drops her lips upon the nipple of Carlisle’s naked breast whilst shrugging out of the blouse that her lover had ripped open. Striding over to me again, I look upon her beautifully bra encased breasts coming closer, with a final kiss and sucking upon my split lip she returns to her lover. Weakly lifting a hand in defiance, I feel the darkness engulf me amid the cries of passion from the bitch.














SHADOWRAITH
I watch.
I wait.
Many years have passed since I saw you,
a shadow among shadows,
alive against the cobalt blue of early evening.
The heavily garmented trees soak up the day,
heading for slumber you wait to feed on their life force,
transforming them into your minions,
your sentinels in the darkness.
My bedroom looks upon your battleground.
I watch.
I wait.
The church lies shrouded, darkness in a realm of hope
But I feel you there hidden from sight,
waiting to reveal your power.

So I watch and I wait.
In the midnight blue of the witching hour,
we continue to play our game.
Light encroaches on night,
on Pegasus wings dawn approaches.
My eyes begin to flicker,
the exhaustion of my vigil calling me to slumber.
Soon I will return to see you again,
always watching, always waiting,
a guardian of the light,
hunting for the wraith who mocks my fear.


     I climb tiredly onto my bike, 6 p.m. Friday night. Twelve hours of boring monotonous drudgery (loosely called work) finally behind me. Weariness in every pore I began the trek for home. Pedals slowly turning, my feet churn through each exhausted cycle, drawing me ever closer. The relief I feel on reaching the half mile steep hill leading down toward my home, hurts almost as much as the ride itself to reach it.
     Pedals turning faster and faster, feet struggling to hold the pace, a wild grin creases my face. Memories flash, a young boy racing down this hill, wild war like cries splitting the night. Holding a crazy smile I thunder toward the village, my own reckless abandon spurring me homeward. Two sharp rights at breakneck speed; knees grazing tarmac I am catapulted into my street carrying enough momentum to reach home.
     Not seeing my parents for a few days have made me realise I am working too much. Sixty or seventy hour weeks are not really good for the mind or the body. I had immersed myself in work as a layman’s answer to pain management. The bitch I had married had slunk back to her ex boyfriend, leaving me to pack for home.  Work seemed a sensible answer but in truth is a coward’s answer to loneliness. My parent’s smiles dispel some of my weariness and ease my bitter hatred of life.
Wolfing down my food, I quietly mutter pleasantries to mam and dad and head for the shower. Thank heavens for power showers. Needle like jets of water acupuncture ease my tired, aching muscles, refreshing me. A night in the local pub with my friends the final piece of the jigsaw.
Thoughts of the pub and my friends bring with it the images of Dani, the new barmaid at my local. Fueled by thoughts of her I smile to myself. Maybe I am finally on the mend and at last I can find the courage to ask Dani out without the fear of rejection tearing me apart. After air drying on my bed releases the final aches form my body, I begin slipping into my clothes. Picking up my shirt reveals a new book, “The Magic Cottage” by James Herbert. Making a mental note to thank mam for the book I skip back to my bed. All thoughts of going out forgotten, at least for a little while.
My mam’s voice cuts through my reverie,
“Steven, Rossy’s on the phone”.
“Ok mam I’m coming”, I reply.
A quick glance at my watch shows 8:30. Ninety minutes lost in the pages of a good book. A rueful smile on my face I leap the stairs two at a time. I immediately hear the laughter at the other end of the line before my mate Rossy speaks.

“Yo! Pretty boy less of the beautifying and get your arse round here. Poor Danielle is pining for her little boy lost.”
The sound of a slap brings a smirk to my reddening face.
“Give me five minutes and get the bottles in, it must be your turn by now,” I reply.
     Slamming the phone down before my mates get the chance to answer, I quickly retrace my steps. In moments I am dressed, coat on and heading out the door, while shouting a final goodbye to my parents.
      The iciness of the night forces my hands further into my pockets and my neck deeper inside my collar. It feels like all the heat has been sucked from the night. Even this coldest of nights cannot dampen my good mood or the merry skip in my stride. Turning the corner at the end of my street brings the gaily lit pub into sight. Pace quickening I can almost taste the ice cold lager I know will be waiting for me. Cutting across the verge instead of following the path; in my haste I skirt close to the Old Saxon church surrounded by its own graveyard. The centerpiece of the village, quaint in daylight becomes an eerie, ghostly, monolith as darkness falls. For the first time in all my years living here, I finally saw how scary this church became when shrouded in darkness. No searchlights that have become common to other churches appeased the midnight hue of night in this little village. Laughing at my own scary thoughts I snuggle deeper into my coat, wishing I had worn my hat and gloves. The temperature plummets yet again. Fervent movement snaps my head back toward the pub, which is briefly obscured in the white plumes of breath escaping my lips. Studying the pub I search for whatever had caught my attention. Seeking an answer my eyes are drawn to the outside lights which seem a little dimmer as if bathed in a coating of oil. Seeing no answer was forthcoming I set off again for the pub.
     Upon my first step, the lights outside the pub dim again, closely followed by the entire village. What the hell? I wonder. I struggle for answers, accepting and discarding each one in turn, till only one remains. Power cut imminent. Curiosity growing  by the second , I quickly search each part of the village, waiting to see the lights finally flicker and die,followed by the first peals of laughter from the pub.Taking a step forward, my head swinging to and fro I search the village for an answer.
When looking toward the outskirts of the village, it appears although these lights are dim; they are still brighter than the ones around the pub. This being said it still appears that the entire village appears coated in a murky film; making sharp edges ill-defined and almost smoky in appearance. Shadows seem to writhe within the coating that is obscuring the lights throughout the village. Moving from translucent to opaque the nearer my sight travels to the center  where the old church is supposed to be. Now an almost solid mass of darkness lies over it, obscuring the quaint reminder of Christianity from my sight. Taking a step in retreat; I sense rather than see the ridge forming over the church. More shadows pulse toward the ridge and then they appear.
Eyes!
Twin orbs of fathomless ebony staring down toward me. Recoiling in horror, my mind locks my body whilst struggling to process what lies before me. This murky shadow engulfs the whole village, from riverbank to the one road leading in and out of the village. Still held rigid in my own fear, my eyes are drawn into its eyes. Drawing me forward, hypnotising me, and pulling me toward its center  Feeling the icy intrusion in its gaze, my mind recoils back to reality, screaming for me to get the hell out of there. My eyes swivel back to the pub, looking at its dimly flickering lights, I take my first step toward sanctuary.
     Only thirty yards separate me from salvation. Breaking into a sprint, I head for the one place I know I will find people. Glancing sideways, the houses on the outskirts of the village snap back into normality as this thing, this wraith begins its metamorphism into a new form. Watching in horror, my mind screams a pitiful wail.
Fingers!
My bruised mind has no answers but urges me to slap my feet quicker on the tarmac leading to salvation. More shadows pulse to the smoky fingers of the wraith enabling another metamorphism.
Oh my God is the only answer my tortured mind can muster when the talons begin to take shape.
For fuck sake, what the hell is going on? My mind asks the question but can find no answer. Looking behind me, my eyes are greeted by the same apparition. Talons already on the move, seeking me out, but these ones are a hell of a lot closer. Heart slamming in my chest, from my efforts, or my fear I don’t know, but, the outcome is the same. Knees rising, feet slamming, I re-double my efforts to reach the pub. Racing up the two flights of steps to the pub I rip open the door. Back braced I wait for the talons that would surely rip into my body. Flinging myself inside I breathe a sigh of relief when the door clatters shut behind me. Staring through the glass panels at my feet I wait for the talons to seep through the glass; knowing in my heart I may have just cost the lives of everyone in the bar. Pulling my knees up till they lie under my chin, I watch and wait. A small wispy tendril breaches the gap and I can only stare in disbelief at the speed of its retreat.
Pulling myself off the floor, I squint in the bright lights hanging over my head. Looking around I notice all eyes are on me. Grasping the offered bottle from Rossy, I swiftly drain two thirds of it in one swallow. Taking a cigarette from my pocket I quickly light it in a vain attempt to hide my ravaged nerves and shaking hands. Inhaling deeply, I remove my cigarette and quickly finish my lager. Waiting for my next bottle I offer my friends a nervous laugh as explanation for my rather strange entrance.
“Damn bloody laces.”
This is the only other explanation I offer and laughter erupts around me. Slowly night-time in the pub returns to normal and my bruised mind finally resembles something of its former self. Staring from window to window I notice that the wraith has again settled above the church. Its talons shaping and re-shaping like fingers clenching and unclenching into a fist. Center shifting again, its eyes appear to stare deep into mine. Shadows pulsing quicker, a tear appears just below the eyes as my friend offers me a cold smile. I take a step back under the weight of shivers walking my spine. Turning on my heel I offer my back in a vain hope of forgetting what waits outside for me.
     My friends attempt to draw me out but to no avail. Silent, tongue tied and dejected I slump at the bar, wondering if the village was going to survive this night. After a few strangers had left and made it to their cars intact, one fact was sure; the wraith was waiting for only one person tonight. Maybe I should have said something, but who would have believed me. It appeared that no one else could see it anyway. As the night ticks by, the early leavers run the gauntlet and make it home unscathed. Minutes become hours and last orders ring out. My friends finish their drinks and shrugging into coats make ready for their short journeys home. Each of my friends live within sight of the pub and watching them leave, I long to open up and tell them what had happened and thus keeping them safe. Fear of ridicule, that old thorn in my side strangles my power of speech and I leave them to the night.
     My eyes follow the journey of each and every one of them, my silent prayers a poor excuse for my silence. As each of them enters their own private sanctuary of home I feel my relief choking me. One by one the pub empties and alone I stand; a silhouetted prey for the waiting horror outside. Looking at the church our eyes lock, hunter and prey playing a game for my survival. Turning my back again, I slowly drain my final bottle. Shrugging into my coat I spark up a last cigarette and step outside, ready at last to meet my fate. I speak no goodbyes as the door shuts behind me, because like a whippet I am off running into the night.
     In the space of two yards my escape ends, when a smoky talon slams into my stomach. If only I had taken a final look, took the time to look once more through the windows and search the night for my nemesis. Then I would have known it had moved. Draped across the small copse of trees opposite the pub it had laid in wait, probably watching my every move. Hindsight, a bloody curse for a sack of meat hung on a transparent talon, waiting for the horror of death to begin. None of it mattered now; the talon was sinking deeper and was already on the move seeking my heart. Coming out of the night, a second talon sinks into my head freezing my thoughts. Impaled upon the talons I feel myself lifted and dragged forward toward the center of the wraith. All thoughts of escape are lost in the pain ripping through my body and echoed in my frozen silent screams. Forcing more of itself into my body, I begin crying at this final violation; wincing when the tears freeze upon my cheeks. Feeling its movement from stomach to breast I wait for death.
In its urgent probing of my body I feel the pressure on my head relent a fraction. A final thought escapes from me; my children. Whispered words of sorry send the images of their faces racing through my brain, pushing the pressure burning in my skull back just a little. With a little room to think I take my chance to say goodbye to my children and send a silent message across the night filled with love and apologies. Finally at peace, I am ready to face my own death, filled with the knowledge that my love for them will be a fitting epitaph.
     Howling in agony the wraith hurls me to the ground; recoiling from me almost in disgust. Picking myself up from our frozen battlefield, I begin my escape again. Slamming down the steps I somehow keep my balance and hit the grass verge in a full on sprint. Lengthening my stride, I set off on a final run hoping to save my life. Maybe just maybe I can make this and for the first time since leaving my home I dare to feel hope. I was free, something had hurt it and I now knew that it wasn't the light, but heat that had caused the wraith’s disgust in me. My love for my children, the heat of human kindness, love for a fellow person, all these had prevented the wraith from following me into the pub and from killing me as I left.
I had only one chance left, a small glimmer of hope to end this night alive and I was ready to put it into play. A few yards from home I stop, my chest heaving, head hung low and waiting. The first talon smokes through my arm. Frozen pain erupts nauseating me at this fresh assault. Arm hanging useless I still wait. A second talon ghosts through the top of my thigh freezing me to the spot. Bringing its head level with mine the wraith begins again violating my body with more of its noxious self.
“Come on you bastard,” I scream.
     The wraith is all too willing. Forcing more of itself inside me, it begins filling my every cell and overloading me till I believe I may explode. Now it’s my turn. Opening my mind I parade the images of my children; a slideshow of love, warmth and understanding. The unconditional love of a father, raw and honest, one of the most powerful emotions I could hold. As one slideshow finishes another starts, friendship, first loves, laughs and smiles, I parade them all. Recoiling again in its own agony, the wraith retreats into itself, gradually diminishing in size until only its eyes remain in the trees of the graveyard. Turning my back I walk the few yards to my door and slip quietly into my home. Pain is a powerful negative emotion and tonight I guess I saw just how powerful. Taking my phone from my pocket, I slowly key in a number and allow a sigh to escape me. Listening to her voice on the other end of the line, I dare to wear a smile.